Xiaomi Mi5 review WiFi
WiFi on the Mi5 is excellent, maintaining a fast, stable connection at 44m / 144ft from a $20 home router with a cinder block wall between them.
Xiaomi Mi5 review display
The display on the Xiaomi Mi5 is 5.15″@1080p, which gives us a ppi of 428. This is beyond retina and looks great on a 5.15″ mobile.
There is some very minor threshold vignetting at the right side and bottom. At it’s brightest, the Mi5 ranges from an outstanding 545-575lux. At its dimmest brightness is undetectable by the meter.
According to Xiaomi the Mi5 offers a 1500:1 contrast ration with 95% NTSC color gamut. The marketing hype is very believable, as the Mi5 display looks top notch. Colors are rich and pure without looking over-saturated. Viewing angles are excellent, with little change in color/contrast at extreme angles.
Xiaomi Mi5 review GPS
Xiaomi GPS SNR is great, with 8 satellites scoring mid-30’s to low-40’s. The first cold lock was obtained within several seconds.
Xiaomi Mi5 picture sample images camera
The Xiaomi Mi5 carries the Sony IMX298 camera sensor. This sensor is a 1/2.6″ sized 16mp sensor, which gives us a pixel size of 1.12μm (1μm = 1 micrometer = 0.001 mm). It’s the same size pixel as we have in 13mp 1/3.2″ sensors, and 12% bigger than with the Samsung S5K3P3 16mp 1/3.2″ sensor (Redmi Note 3 Pro camera).
Features of Xiaomi Mi5 rear camera
- sapphire glass protection
- 4k video capable
- 4-axis optical image stabilization
- up to 32 second long image exposure
- manual camera mode
- 120fps slow-motion video
- time-lapse mode
- directional microphone (record audio from front or back or both when making videos)
The Sony IMX298 camera sensor is very good, producing very sharp images in good lighting with very good detail and little evidence of artifacting.
Colors are very good; generally rich and realistic. Dynamic range (DR) is quite good, and if we need, HDR shots give us significantly more DR while often adding some pop to photos. The HDR shots are looking very good, with some added pop, but not over-the-top and very pleasant.
The 100% crops in many instances are adequate for digital sharing. It’s not often that users require 100% crops, but with the IMX298, they are often usable should the need arise.
- Conditions: most in mid-day sunlight. Some in evening
- Picture quality: set to “standard” (default is “high”)
- White balance, ISO etc..: auto
- PP: none other than resizing / cropping and saving at 75% jpg
- Gallery picture order for a given scene: 1) HDR full scene 2) normal full scene 3) normal 100% crop.
Xiaomi Mi5 review screen on time / SoT / battery life
the Mi5 hit a SoT of 9 hours
The battery on the Mi5 is 3000mAh. A step down from the Redmi 3 and Redmi Note 3, but still providing enough juice for a great result on our battery life test, beating out the Xiaomi Redmi 3 MTK with 4000mAh.
Running a 720p video over WiFi through YouTube with the display at 140lux, the Mi5 hit a SoT of 9 hours. This is a great result and by far the best we’ve seen from a 3000mAh battery.
Xiaomi Mi5 Quick-Charge 3.0
The Xiaomi Mi5 includes a 2.5A charger. The charging time is excellent and it appears the Xiaomi Mi5 battery is accepting the full 2.5A as it charges from dead to full in 1 hour 15 minutes; an excellent result. Along with the great battery life means the Mi5 should suit power users without issue.
Xiaomi Mi5 review build and style
Visually there’s not a lot to differ the Xiaomi Mi5 from significantly cheaper phones. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro perhaps looks slicker with it’s metal backpiece and interesting lines. That’s not to say the Mi5 looks bad though. There is very unique angling to the CNC-machined sides, which run into the flowing curve of the backpiece.
According to Xiaomi, they [believe 2.5D is very beautiful, but wanted to explore other materials]; the positive side non-2.5D front glass is that it allows the glass to be flush with the sides, thus fractionally thinner. It also allows for the entire front glass to be protected by a glass screen protector.
Both the front and back glass are Corning Gorilla Glass 4.
We have the white edition here, which doesn’t show fingerprints. Though according to reports, the black version is a big fingerprint magnet, which makes sense being that it’s glass. If you aren’t going to use a case or skin and are a bit OCD about keeping your phone looking new, we recommend going with the white version.
Overall the Xiaomi Mi5 style won’t blow you away, but is slick enough. Physical build is solid other than a minor creak heard when pressing on the middle of the backpiece.
The 128GB Xiaomi Mi5 Pro version has a ceramic back as opposed to glass. This ceramic piece may be available for purchase if someone wants to swap out the back glass of their non-Pro Mi5.
Xiaomi Mi5 review touch-ID fingerprint sensor
The fingerprint sensor is on the front button as opposed to the back. It’s exhibits excellent sensitivity allowing for sloppy scans from any angle and instantaneously unlocks the phone.
The Mi5 at this point doesn’t allow for fingerprint unlocking from sleep/display off, which is a bit of a downer. There is a commonly held belief that this helps with resting battery life. Of this we’re skeptical, as properly coded ROMs will allow for deep sleep while still allowing fingerprint sensing. The Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro allows unlocking from display off, which seems to be in opposition to this rumor as well.
the fingerprint sensor is excellent and a positive asset to the phone.
There is the more logical explanation: the sensor being slightly protruding as opposed to recessed could lead to unintended unlocks. This explanation also seems a bit weak, but it’s the best that can be figured at this point. Maybe in a future OTA Xiaomi will give us the option to allow unlock from sleep.
Whatever the case, this is a minor nitpick, and overall the fingerprint sensor is excellent and a positive asset to the phone.
Xiaomi Mi5 review OS stability and performance
- Android 6.0 Marshmallow
- zero app force closes
- smooth and responsive
- animations, transitions, general OS fluidity is excellent
- app switching is instantaneous
- Google Play Store working without issue
- zero Chinaware installed on our copy of the phone
- deep sleeping without issue
Apps that are not already loaded into memory are loading extremely quickly. Some of them to the point that there’s little to no difference from an app that’s sitting in RAM. What helps this along is the UFS 2.0 storage (87% faster than eMMC 5.0 according to Xiaomi), the excellent Kryo CPU cores, and LPDDR4 RAM.
Alltogether, MIUI Android 6.0 is very good and there are no problems or issues we’ve come across.
Our copy came with Google Play pre-installed and Global MIUI 126.96.36.199. If you should receive a Xiaomi Mi5 without Play Store, Google Play Store can easily be installed on without root or any sort of fiddling required.
One of the beautiful things about the Xiaomi Mi5 is the ability to touch, instead of physically press down the home button. This option can be set on first boot when setting up the phone, or in Settings > Buttons. The excellence of this can’t be understated.
Xiaomi Mi5 other components
- external speaker: very good. easily loud for hands-free calling, music, and videos
- mic: working without issue. party on the other end heard us without issue even when outside next a busy highway
- earpiece: working without issue. other party could be heard without issue even when outside next to a busy highway
- compass: working without issue
- gyroscope: working without issue
- accelerometer: working without issue
- infra-red remote: working without issue
- OTG: working without issue
- step counter: working without issue
- pressure sensor: working without issue
Xiaomi Mi5 Antutu
Mi5 carries LPDDR4 RAM; combined with the Snapdragon 820 SoC, Mi5 scores an incredible 132,971 on Antutu 6.1.4.
The highest scoring Mi5 according to Antutu pushed 136k which makes Mi5 the most powerful mobile on the planet, with the Samsung S7 (also Snap 820) a close 2nd. To put this in perspective, last year’s Snap 810 is outscored on Antutu total by 50k, and nearly doubling last year 810’s GPU (55k v 29k).
With the Mi5 in 40c ambient temps, some throttling kicked. CPU mostly affected here. GPU only minor throttling. Great news for power gamers; and gamer or not,100k in these sorts of ambient temps is an excellent result.
Xiaomi Mi5 Geekbench
The Xiaomi Mi5 Geekbench is similarly impressive, outscoring Samsung Galaxy S6 by 1300 points (5400 v 4100) in the multi-core test. S6 is in the single-core test is outscored by 80% (2300 v 1300).
Xiaomi Mi5 summary conclusion
The Mi5 lacks MHL and a TF SD slot. The former can be overcome by casting through WiFi, and the latter can be overcome by purchasing a big storage Mi5. For most users, the 32GB version should be fine, but power users and those who like storing a lot of media content may need to bump up to 64GB.
Battery life is great, charging time is fantastic, it carries a great looking display and comes with most of the goodies, including NFC, Gorilla Glass 4, infrared remote, gyroscope, step counter, and compass.
You can now own the most powerful consumer mobile in the known universe– Xiaomi Mi5, for a few hundred bucks– about half as much as the Galaxy S7. The Mi5 is a near perfect phone; super-powered with all components working great. If it’s within your budget, jump on it… You won’t be disappointed. If a bit too much, we recommend the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro. Available at half the price of the Mi5, RMN3P offers great value and is a mobile you’ll be happy to own.